'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 21 February 2016

Review: Arthur and the Curiosity

There's always been a fine line between the imagination and reality, and this new book from debut author/illustrator Lucinda Gifford perfectly encapsulates that magical line.

Arthur is a curious little soul. Whilst on excursion to the museum with his class, he regularly strays to take a peek at a curious creature--the Curiosity. The museum attendant has no idea what it is, and, indeed, the plaque on the cabinet simply says: '?'

As Miss Blunkett encourages Arthur to consistently rejoin the class and 'move on through' the exhibits, Arthur begins to see the Curiosity everywhere he goes. Appearing comically in exhibits including an Egyptian sarcophagus and the window of Ye Olde Curiosity Tea Shop, it seems no one else can see the creature, but Arthur.

At the end of the tour, and when it comes to say goodbye, Arthur is crestfallen ... that is, until something most unexpected happens!

Lucinda's gorgeous book, with quirky illustrations packed with movement and fabulous detail, is the result of her win in the inaugural Five Mile Press Illustrator Prize. It was a joy to follow Lucinda's journey when I first met her through the 52-Week Illustration Challenge--to get to know her amazing art and humour, and then watch her win the chance to both author and illustrate this book.

I'm hoping to see Arthur and his burgeoning imagination in another adventure!

Title: Arthur and the Curiosity
Author/Illustrator: Lucinda Gifford
Publisher: The Five Mile Press, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 February 2016
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781760068387
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book